Places to go, Kakadu & Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, Australia

Arnhem Land

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Arnhem Land is one of the Top End's most spectacular natural destinations. Its scenery is beautiful and diverse, including rugged coastlines, remote islands, rivers teeming with fish, lush rainforest, towering escarpments and savannah woodland.

Wildlife – exotic and abundant

Wildlife is prolific throughout Arnhem Land, and includes the region's largest predator – the saltwater crocodile – to dugong, nesting turtles and hundreds of bird species including jacana, azure kingfishers, magpie geese, brolga and jabiru.

The area is one of the best fishing destinations in the world. If you are a keen fisherman or woman, join a blue water fishing charter to catch red emperor, Spanish mackerel and coral trout, or cruise inland on a tidal estuary in search of the famous barramundi.

Visit Gunbalanya

Crossing the river from Kakadu, the first community on the western side of Arnhem Land is Gunbalanya (Oenpelli). Call in to see artists at work and to buy baskets and paintings at the famous Injalak Art and Craft Centre. Join a tour led by an indigenous guide to Injalak Hill to see ancient rock art and hear Dreamtime stories.

Indigenous arts centres

There are several famous indigenous arts centres in Arnhem Land, including the community of Maningrida and Yirrkala, just outside the coastal town of Nhulunbuy on the Gove Peninsula. Here you can also take a number of cultural tours with local indigenous guides to the idyllic beaches of white sand and azure waters.

Historic ruins

There are also many significant historical sites in Arnhem Land, including the ruins of an early Victorian settlement in Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on secluded Cobourg Peninsula.

Access – permit needed

To visit Arnhem Land you will need a permit from the Northern Land Council. Plan ahead and apply for a permit at least 10 days in advance at the Northern Land Council website - or join an organised tour with an operator who has permission to enter the region.

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